Qualifying has begun in earnest for amateur and professional poker players alike in Saskatchewan in an attempt to qualify for the 2017 SIGA Poker Championship. This year’s championship offers a guaranteed $240,000 prize pool and begins on Friday, October 6. The 2017 event has been broken down into Day 1A and Day 1B due to the sheer volume of players expected to stump up the $675 entry fee (including administration fees). Each day will have a 200-player capacity.
The tournament is being held at the Dakota Dunes Casino in Saskatoon, which is also hosting a trio of satellite tournaments on September 14, 21, and 28. Up to four players from each tournament will win a ticket to the 2017 SIGA Poker Championship. Entry to each satellite event is $75 (including administration fees).
Elsewhere, the Painted Hand Casino is also offering players the opportunity to win a seat to Day 1A or 1B of the championships by having the “high hand of the week”. In each poker room, this offer has been in place on all cash game tables since mid-August, giving locals the opportunity to get a shot to play in one of the most prestigious poker tournaments in western Canada.
Last year, Saskatoon-based Waylon Gibson prevailed at the 2016 Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority Poker Championship, taking home almost $40,000 in first-place prize money and securing a seat to the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 2015, Gibson earned a very respectable 15th place out of almost 400 players and came into last year’s event with real confidence and belief that he could run deep and take down the jackpot. That self-belief was well placed given that he scooped a five-figure win and a ticket to arguably the most exciting poker tournament of his life.
“It’s a dream come true for anyone who plays poker, that’s the top of the mountain,” said Gibson of the World Series of Poker Main Event. “It’s going to be a huge opportunity and I want to make the most of it,” he continued.
As of yet, no winners of the SIGA Poker Championship have gone on to last long enough in the World Series of Poker Main Event to make big money. These days, a finish in the top 100 can earn players a payday of around $100,000.
Of course, if you’ve only ever played poker online and never experienced the buzz of a poker room in a casino, it can be a daunting prospect. There is a certain degree of etiquette that players must adhere to, but once you’ve been and played a couple of times, you’ll soon feel comfortable in your surroundings.
For instance, you may be used to playing poker on your laptop in your PJs. Big mistake in a casino. In fact, odds are you’ll be turned away at the door if you showed up in anything resembling PJs. In Canada and North America, casual dress is accepted, however. You’ll also be shown the door if you start irritating other players by discussing your hand after you’ve folded, which may hand another player an unfair advantage. So, if you’ve got a ticket to the 2017 SIGA Poker Championship and you’ve not yet played in a casino, why not pop down to your local poker room first and get a feel for the action.